Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interview with The Arekusandaa Project (TAP)


1). Hello and thank you for this opportunity. Would you please introduce yourselves for our readers?

Arekusandaa: Hello! My name is Arekusandaa, and I am the guitarist of TAP. I am also the main composer and all mighty band leader.

Fredrik:  Hello, I'm Fredrik, the drummer.

Sasa: Hello, I’m SaSa the vocalist of The Arekusandaa Project also known as TAP.

K: Hello! I’m K on bass. Nice to meet you.


2.) Could you tell us about The Arekusandaa Project’s formation?

Arekusandaa: It began with the search for a live-session/support band for me. The Arekusandaa Project was before that the name I collected all my works of art, such as music, paintings and clothing, but after some time I decided to make it the name of my support-band. I began searching for members in the autumn of 2011, but it was first in December that the band was formed. First off me and K found each others, shortly after SaSa applied to join and right after that Fredrik as well found his way to the band.


3.) Musically and visually, how would each of you describe The Arekusandaa Project?

Arekusandaa: An ever changing musical and visual experiment. We never stays in one genre, or one style.

Fredrik: Musically I would say we are equals by which I mean no one is better than the other. Visually I think we set the bar high and want to tour the world!

K: Musically we all have different tastes and that is shown in the music we create. All based in metal but with many different influences. It’s dreamy and mystical! Visually we are quite…dark (laughs).


4.) Each member contributes their skills when creating a new piece; Arekusandaa writes and composes, K also composes, SaSa writes for the piano (and has written lyrics in Farsi) and Fredrik improvises on the drums. Was this a method that was discussed and decided upon, or did it work out naturally?

Arekusandaa: Haha, it was never really any discussions about it. I was the one who had written some music before, and after that we all joined together to improve it. But on some of the upcoming songs, its not only I who have written the main-piece. TAP is forever changing.

Fredrik: This method was something that just happened we didn’t decide that we would make songs this way we just did it.

SaSa: It wasn’t something we talked about, and it isn’t a “rule” we always follow. It’s more works that if someone got an idea they spill it and then everyone start working on it to make it better. But yeah, usually that’s the way it goes.


5.) In using this method, how long does the process of creating a song normally take?

Arekusandaa: That depends. Like the song “Solitude” has I been working on since 2007, and if you compare the Arekusandaa-version with the TAP-version, it’s way different. For most of the songs, it takes all between one night up to 3-4 months to get the main-work done, and then we have to rehearse it, and then sometimes improves it one level further. So it’s a hard question, since it’s differs from song to song.

Fredrik: Well it depends. If you take a song like the original Re-su-re-xi it was like 20 minutes long and was really hard to play in rehearsal, but usually it takes about one or two days.


6.) Aside from Japanese music, TAP is influenced by a number of genres (traditional Asian music, mostly from the Middle East, as well as the metal scene from the West.) Is there any one genre in particular that influenced you as individuals?

Arekusandaa: For me, I’m heavily influenced by the 90’s visual kei-scene, but even more from classical music and jazz/swing and gothic rock.. In my younger days I listened to a lot of jazz, punk, classical and early rock, and that may have influenced me a lot. Still, I wouldn’t really say that it’s noticeable in our music.

Fredrik: The music I listen to the most is death-metal and it´s the music that inspire me the most, I prefer to play fast and hard.

SaSa: Well except from Japanese music I get inspired by some “mainstream” American bands, and also a few Persian musicians. But just like Arekusandaa said about his, I don’t think that’s anything you notice from listening to our music.

K: I like electro music and also classical, opera and rock. I also have a love for movie themes.


7.) What about any non-musical influences?

Arekusandaa: Paintings! I love paintings, and also likes to paint when I have the time. Also the nature is a huge influence of mine, as well as all different kinds of emotions and memories I may have.

Fredrik: Haha Arnold Schwarzenegger, nuff said!

SaSa: Stories or books always influence me in some way or another, which can be highly positive and at the same time not so good at all times.

K: I get inspired from my own feelings and happenings in life, but also from fairy tales, historical events and interesting people.


8.) Have any of you been professionally trained in music, or are you self-taught?

Arekusandaa: When I was younger, I was offered to go to music-school, but I refused. I did sing in a choir for a while, but it wasn’t more than for some months. I didn’t like the system where I had to do something on regular basis; I prefer learning for myself when I find the time is right. I am not only self-thought in music, but in the most things I do. The only real educations I have in art is theatre-education (3 years).

Fredrik: I’m self-taught but I played drums in my school band but the teacher wasn’t really into helping us as long as we managed by ourselves.

SaSa: I went on piano courses for some years but I haven’t done that in ages.

K: I studied music for three years in high school and I’ve taken lessons for bass guitar for about six years.


9.) Though TAP officially began activities in January, you’ve already held a number of live gigs. How have those experiences been?

Arekusandaa: It has been great! It’s the best feeling to play live. The best experience was our first one-man-live on KodachiCon. Mostly due to it was a great conventions, but also that the audience was great!

Fredrik: In my point of view, it is so much fun and love doing it and I want to keep on doing it. Sometimes it was stressful managing both the band and school at the same time and now I have to balance work and band.

SaSa: Fantastic, I love the energy the people everything has been incredibly fun and awesome.

K: Even though it’s hard work, it’s always fun to play live! It means a lot to me when people come to see us and I want to do a lot of more shows soon!


10.) Do any of you have any pre/post-concert rituals?

Arekusandaa: Hum. We get dressed together and also help each other with fixing their hair. Sometimes before the gigs I also have a pep-talk with my band mates.

Fredrik: I just like to chill maybe sleep a bit.

SaSa: Eh except clothing and make up fixing, I eat Mint Mentos, always, and run around fixing myself while quietly singing through the songs and laugh with the rest of the band members.

K: Apart from doing my makeup and such, I try to warm up my voice and fingers a bit. And we always mess around with each other.


11.) Deconstruction [Part I] was written in Farsi, could you tell us the reason for this? Did you feel it better captured the feeling of the song?

Arekusandaa: Not the whole piece is in Farsi, but the chorus is. Since it’s a song that musically has some middle-east influences, me and SaSa felt like it would fit great into the concept with lyrics in Farsi.

SaSa: Well, I first had written the Persian part in English, and in the bginning it wasn’t planned to be used, but Arekusandaa and I talked and we thought it fit and that it maybe even would be cooler in Persian and so it turned out as it did.


12.) A number of international visual bands have released a song in Japanese. Can we expect one from TAP in the future?

Arekusandaa: Well… Not until some of us know Japanese good enough. If we make a song in Japanese, it shall not be just “because of others do it”, or that it’s the main language of this sub-genre, but because of that we felt like the Japanese language would fit the song and the emotions the best. Since I am studying Japanese, and soon also SaSa, as well as K’s interest for the Japanese language, I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible for a future TAP-song to have lyrics in Japanese.

Fredrik: Well I just want to say that diversity is one of my biggest goal in playing music, so I would expect it in the future how far in I don’t know but stay tuned!

SaSa: Since I love the Japanese language, I will say as soon as I have a bit better Japanese to work with and as soon as I get hit by a good idea it will happen.

But like Arekusandaa said, it’s too soon right now and I don’t want to do it cause everyone else does it. I want to do it because I like the language and think it would turn out beautiful.


13.) What about one in Swedish?

Arekusandaa: Haha, funny that you mention it. We have something cooking on that actually. You will just have to wait and see.

Fredrik: I’d say yes!

SaSa: I’m going to do a ~wink, wink~ and stay tuned.


14.) There are quite a few visual bands hailing from Sweden. Would you ever hope to hold a concert or festival with all these bands?

Arekusandaa: Are we so many? Haha! Well, the thought have struck me. It’s not impossible! I think it at least would help bringing more attention to the visual scene of Sweden.

Fredrik: Funny question, I’ve actually been thinking about that, I would love to play with other bands in a tour where all the people are there to listen to that kind of music.

SaSa: Are there that many? And Yes! Yes! I can imagine that would be fun.

K: I would love to do that.


15.) Could you give a closing comment, as well a note on what TAP fans should expect in the future?

Arekusandaa: Look forward to our new single-releases, live shows and maybe also the first PV, all coming this autumn/winter!

Fredrik: “Rubber blubber belly baby bumpers!” stay tuned and I hope I meet all of you someday!

Sasa: There is much going on behind the scenes so stay tuned! Keep spreading the word! And we will hopefully see you soon!

K: First of all, thank you for supporting us! It means a lot to us. We are in the process of creating new songs and we hope that you get to hear them as soon as possible!



Individual Questions




[caption id="attachment_6279" align="alignleft" width="150"] Guitar: Arekusandaa[/caption]

You are proficient in several musical instruments including your ability to sing. What instrument do you like the best and why?

Well, since I’m best at the guitar, and it’s the instrument that has inspired me most to begin with music, I have to say guitar. But it’s not by much I prefer it before piano, accordion or harmonica.

Could you tell our readers about "Arekusandaa Visual Clothing" and where you get the inspiration for your pieces?

Yes yes...“Arekusandaa Visual Clothing” is my brand of clothing, and since some months ago, also jewelry and other accessories. I get the inspirations mostly from the Japanese visual kei-scene, as well as the western Gothic- and Rock-scene. Sometimes I view fashion-shows by alternative creators. That combined with the inspirations of nature and emotions, ends up in “Arekusandaa Visual Clothing”. Just like my music, it’s forever changing.




[caption id="attachment_6280" align="alignleft" width="150"] Drums: Fredrik[/caption]

Could you tell us how TAP differs from your previous band, L.O.T?

Sure thing, when I played in L.O.T I just played what I was told to play and never got to play the way I wanted to, in TAP I can play how I want and that is gold worth, also we were four males so it got kind of hectic sometimes with arguments and what not.

You also improvise when it comes to the drum in the songs. Do you just have fun or do you already have some idea of what you want to do with each song?

I actually have a way I play certain songs, I just like to add something that I feel would fit and in that way improve myself and the song from my part.
It is also a way to keep up the fun moment of creating a song and also give the fans something that they never heard before.





[caption id="attachment_6278" align="alignleft" width="150"] Vocals: SaSa[/caption]

Could you tell us how and when you got started playing the piano?

I started playing piano when I was six years old, because my parents thought I should try a instrument and forced little shy me to my first piano lesson.
Turned out fantastic and I fell in love directly with this beautiful instrument.

Between playing the piano and singing, which do you prefer and why?

Well, hard question you got there…
I love singing, its fun I feel powerful doing it and its just plain awesome.
At the same time I love playing the piano, it’s something that calms me down and lets me relax so extremely much.
Playing the piano to me is like having a good time with a old friend that understands you perfectly, a friend that can put a sound to the emotions you can’t.
I can’t say what I prefer because I love both of it in different ways.





[caption id="attachment_6281" align="alignleft" width="150"] Bass: K[/caption]

You are the band’s creative supervisor. Could you tell our readers what this entails?

I pay a lot of attention to details and I am quite hard critic when we create songs. During rehearsals I'm the loudest one (laughs). I have most musical training and so maybe it’s easier for me to hear when something is off.

What made you want to take on this “position” within the band?

I'm the oldest and wisest one (laughs). No, it just comes natural for me, I always give both positive and constructive comments about pretty much everything when it comes to our band. I'm very passionate about our music and I want it to be as good as it can be.

Follow these links to find out more about TAP:

Facebook - Twitter - Youtube

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This interview was conducted by Michelle Gaynor (Tenten)


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